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Thread: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

  1. #1
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    Default A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Having built one of CLC's Chesapeake 16 kayak's (from plans) several years ago, I have been wondering how to car-top it to neighboring rivers and beaches for a change in paddling scenery.

    Thule market (at vast expense I might add) something named a Hullavator which allows one to slide a car-topped kayak toward one then pivot it downwards so that it (the kayak) rests in the rack at approximately waist height. This makes it far easier for lifting.

    Soooo, armed with ideas, I proceeded to make up a homemade version out of wood & marine ply. The cradles holding the fore and aft sections of the hull are bolted to strips of timber which have a dovetailed cross-section profile. These slide in a long groove allowing one to pull the kayak toward one to a point where hinges allow it to swing downwards through an arc of 90 until it rests at waist height.

    My prototype works fairly well when everything is dry, but once wet the sliders swell a fraction and everything locks up !

    I have attached two photographs which will give you some idea of what I am talking (writing) about.

    How do I solve the swelling ? Use a hardwood for sliders ? Increase the tolerances ? Apply an oil of some sort (l inseed comes to mind) ? Or burn the whole damn thing and start again ?

    Any solutions ?

    Dave


    In lowered position.jpgDovetailed sliders.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Pull the male slider out and rip it a bit narrower.

    I'd also double up on the straps, using another set that passes thru the car's roof rack frame and all the way around the load, including the wooden rack.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    With regard to long, skinny, relatively light boats like the CS 16, I think you're much better off with a loading approach whereby you lift one end at time, like the Yakima boat loader https://www.rei.com/product/679458/y...25141949&gclid=

    It's really easy to cobble up a rack that has a removable extension. I've never used a Hullavator but it looks like you still have to lift the whole boat onto the rack. The one-end-at-a-time approach allows you to only lift half the weight at any time. Your rig appears to require you to lift the weight of the whole boat plus the weight of the rack components at the same time. Since you have an SUV you can easily rig a front mount rack that makes end loading really simple.

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    It like it! Fix as Gib suggests.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    When you epoxy seal the dovetail components (after that slight trimming) mix some graphite powder in with the epoxy.

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    An alternative is to use HDPE strips to make male sliders slide easily. An example of how the material is used by Louis Sauzedde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcBdvChtQkU
    Last edited by rbgarr; 03-11-2018 at 03:29 PM.
    "It's a pirate's life for me. Savvy??"

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Another way to do the half lift is a frame that pulls backwards from the after roof rack, which is needed since the after rack is no longer at the after end of the car. There are some rollers that pinch fasten into the gap between the hatch and the roof. A folded up pad will also work.

    We used to get canoes loaded on to the tops of VW vans on a homemade Yakima footed 2x4 rack. Back in the gutter day. I had a 2x4 riding on top of the 2x4 rack with some plywood gussets. Pretty bullet proof.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    uh?
    Model: Length: Hull Weight: Beam: Max Payload: Cockpit Size: Paddler Weight: Knee Height: Max. Men's Shoe Size:
    Chesapeake 16 15' 8" 42 lbs. 23 in. 260 lbs. 31" x 17" 120 - 180 lbs. 12" 13
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    uh?
    Model: Length: Hull Weight: Beam: Max Payload: Cockpit Size: Paddler Weight: Knee Height: Max. Men's Shoe Size:
    Chesapeake 16 15' 8" 42 lbs. 23 in. 260 lbs. 31" x 17" 120 - 180 lbs. 12" 13
    A few corrections Denise : First up the weight. My C16 weighs 55lbs - try humping that to head height at the age of 77 ! I think John Harris of CLC overdid the "poetic license" bit when he told us that the finished kayak would weigh 42 lbs. Next up Paddler Weight 120 to 180 lbs uh? That's a huge difference (range), but I suppose one has to sell the kits. One of my sons weighs about 180 lbs and the C16 is a "perfect fit" for him. I check in at 123 pounds.

    Should have built a 14 footer.

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Good looking rack Dave. 77 and still active.

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Good looking rack Dave. 77 and still active.
    Thanks Gib, Bit creaky at times, but my boys keep me on the go !

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    An alternative is to use HDPE strips to make male sliders slide easily. An example of how the material is used by Louis Sauzedde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcBdvChtQkU
    Interesting ! I'll see if I can trace some down here at the bottom end of the African continent. I'm in awe of the wide spread of high-quality materials that you fellows in the U.S. enjoy.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Reynell View Post
    Thanks Gib, Bit creaky at times, but my boys keep me on the go !
    One cannot tell someone's age by what they write unless they say so my apologies for my apparent disrespect of my Elder. ( Even though I'm pushing 70)

    I've been humping boats and canoes and kayaks on top of my trucks and cars for over 30 years, either there's a secret to it or I can lift 300 lbs.
    I love this gal LOL


    Last edited by DeniseO30; 03-12-2018 at 11:37 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    One cannot tell someone's age by what they write unless they say so my apologies for my apparent disrespect of my Elder. ( Even though I'm pushing 70)

    I've been humping boats and canoes and kayaks on top of my trucks and cars for over 30 years, either there's a secret to it or I can lift 300 lbs.


    Code:
      https://youtu.be/X1-9aNR6AIk
    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    No need to apologise Denise. There must be a secret to humping heavy kayaks on and off car-tops - I'm still learning. I took a look at your Ducker project, daunting ! I look forward to the updates.

    Dave

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Pretty slick.

    My approach to getting the boats up on my old Explorer was to have a pipe inside (and same length as) the forward rack. Pull the pipe so that half remains in the rack, half outside. Lift the bow onto the pipe. Lift the stern and rotate to an pop the boat into the rear rack saddle. Shift the bow to get the boat into the forward rack saddle. If a second boat, push the pipe through and pull out the other side. I never got around to a clever way to keep the pipe inside the rack so I just carried it in the Explorer.

    The advantage here is that I never had to actuall lift more than half the boat's weight.

    For the dink, which weighs more than four kayaks, I added rollers to the rear rack which was positioned just ahead of the rear window hinge. I also had little peg uprights at the ends of each rack. So I could get the bow leaning on the rear rack and then hoist the transom and push. I could get several feet closer to the car before I had to start raising my arms and by that time I had the rollers getting near amidships so it got easier. It worked out that a good place for the forward rack was abut where the bow would land when the boat's center of weight was about over the rear rollers. Easy push from there.
    Last edited by Ian McColgin; 03-12-2018 at 11:12 AM.

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Gail, the lady that had the ducker, helped me load it onto my truck, it's over 100 lbs. and she's a petite Italian gal!
    traded my 14.5' solo for it. Amazing lady she's authored a few books, tenured (I think) for a large university in women's studies and more, "hate's" building from plans but loves woodworking (like me) LOL


    Last edited by DeniseO30; 03-12-2018 at 11:21 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Oh.. I used to struggle with this baby. UNTIL I leaned how to load her up on to the Yakima "saddles") Got the plans long ago when CLC was still growing and before CNC was the way and means. "Cape Charles 18" (we also built a 17)
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Pretty slick.

    My approach to getting the boats up on my old Explorer was to have a pipe inside (and same length as) the forward rack. Pull the pipe so that half remains in the rack, half outside. Lift the bow onto the pipe. Lift the stern and rotate to an pop the boat into the rear rack saddle. Shift the bow to get the boat into the forward rack saddle. If a second boat, push the pipe through and pull out the other side. I never got around to a clever way to keep the pipe inside the rack so I just carried it in the Explorer.

    The advantage here is that I never had to actuall lift more than half the boat's weight.

    For the dink, which weighs more than four kayaks, I added rollers to the rear rack which was positioned just ahead of the rear window hinge. I also had little peg uprights at the ends of each rack. So I could get the bow leaning on the rear rack and then hoist the transom and push. I could get several feet closer to the car before I had to start raising my arms and by that time I had the rollers getting near amidships so it got easier. It worked out that a good place for the forward rack was abut where the bow would land when the boat's center of weight was about over the rear rollers. Easy push from there.
    Most interesting Ian. I'm going to give it some thought. Far, far simpler than my set up (which I could probably modify). Thanks for the tip.

    Dave

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Woodworking beats epoxy and glassing every time. I'm a James Krenov fan, built one of his wooden hand planes over thirty years ago - pure magic to use. Here is a bank of six (try it some time !) dovetail joints that I sweated over when building a bookcase.
    Hey ! But I look at them almost every day.Bank of six dovetails.jpg

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Reynell View Post
    Woodworking beats epoxy and glassing every time. I'm a James Krenov fan, built one of his wooden hand planes over thirty years ago - pure magic to use. Here is a bank of six (try it some time !) dovetail joints that I sweated over when building a bookcase.
    Hey ! But I look at them almost every day.Bank of six dovetails.jpg
    Oh... I dabble a bit .
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    uh?
    Model: Length: Hull Weight: Beam: Max Payload: Cockpit Size: Paddler Weight: Knee Height: Max. Men's Shoe Size:
    Chesapeake 16 15' 8" 42 lbs. 23 in. 260 lbs. 31" x 17" 120 - 180 lbs. 12" 13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Reynell View Post
    A few corrections Denise : First up the weight. My C16 weighs 55lbs - try humping that to head height at the age of 77 ! I think John Harris of CLC overdid the "poetic license" bit when he told us that the finished kayak would weigh 42 lbs. Next up Paddler Weight 120 to 180 lbs uh? That's a huge difference (range), but I suppose one has to sell the kits. One of my sons weighs about 180 lbs and the C16 is a "perfect fit" for him. I check in at 123 pounds.

    Should have built a 14 footer.
    My experience bulding a fair number of s&g kayaks is that a fiberglass composite kayak and wood fiberglass composite kayak have comparable weights when built for the same use and adequate fill coats are used to ensure cosmetic longevity. Coming from the perspective of someone who taught sea kayaking and paddled in conditions sea kayaks are designed for.

    Marketing s&g kits as an alternative to production composite kayaks tends to skew towards optimistic/misleading weight figures. While one can do many things to reduce wateful epoxy use and acheive 42 lbs with 6oz glass it’ll be inadequately sealed to prevent “black ick” mildew from appearing through the wood when compartments are closed up.

    I built a Ch16 when I weighed 200lbs and it was plenty big. Like production kayaks the paddler weight range is to be taken with a handful of salt. My general suggestion is to take go from your intended use. If it’s 80% unloaded 20% loaded pick a kayak where you’re closer to max paddler weight otherwise you’ll have too much windage to deal with. The other unfortunate thing is designating payload capacity according to freeboard. In other words having two models called high and low volume when the only change is the freeboard height. There are many manufacturers that do that for decent reasons but it really doesn't change the carrying capacity of the shape in the water.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    What Gib said. Once you've narrowed the male piece the slider will move / rattle a bit more, but when you put the secondary / extra straps through the car's fore and aft rails and over the boat, it should carry nice and tight when pressed onto the cradle.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Oh... I dabble a bit .

    Aah ! Your workbench is beautiful. I have long hankered for an tail vice (and yours is particularly neat) but never got around to making one. Bench stops are so useful. A mate of mine currently finishing off one of Iain Oughtred's Acorn skiffs (before this had never built a boat) first made himself a decent workbench. Good move.

    Here's a photo of my trusty old Krenov hand plane. I'm sure that you could make one. If you do you'll never use a steel one again - wood on wood has a similar friction coefficient to ice on ice.

    Dave

    Krenov Plane.jpg

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    Rain has stopped play for the day but I thought I would post a few pictures of my work in progress for car-topping my daughter’s 35kg optimist.
    I only require to get it on and off the while at home, when we get to events there will be a pair of helping hands.
    Longitudinal beams are strapped to the rack
    The side to side cross bar attached, the white material is a low friction plastic to aid pushing
    The is boat backed up to the rear of the boat and upended on an old tyre, protecting the rear and rudder fittings
    After that it is simple case of lifting and pushing
    The whole assembly is then easily removed

    The side of the cross bar requires and end stop





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  25. #25
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Pretty slick.

    My approach to getting the boats up on my old Explorer was to have a pipe inside (and same length as) the forward rack. Pull the pipe so that half remains in the rack, half outside. Lift the bow onto the pipe. Lift the stern and rotate to an pop the boat into the rear rack saddle. Shift the bow to get the boat into the forward rack saddle. If a second boat, push the pipe through and pull out the other side. I never got around to a clever way to keep the pipe inside the rack so I just carried it in the Explorer.

    The advantage here is that I never had to actuall lift more than half the boat's weight.
    This is essentially what the Yakima Boat Loader does -- see link in post 3 above -- if you have a Yakima rack with round cross bars. I resisted getting one for a while because it seems a bit pricey for what is little more than a metal bar with a few plastic do-dads, but it works very well (I'm 73 years old) with my 70+ pound 16 foot wood and canvas canoe. This video shows it being used to load a good-sized kayak:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHttmdifr_8

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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Nolan View Post
    This is essentially what the Yakima Boat Loader does -- see link in post 3 above -- if you have a Yakima rack with round cross bars. I resisted getting one for a while because it seems a bit pricey for what is little more than a metal bar with a few plastic do-dads, but it works very well (I'm 73 years old) with my 70+ pound 16 foot wood and canvas canoe. This video shows it being used to load a good-sized kayak:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHttmdifr_8
    Yakimas Boat loader saved my shoulders as they were healing up. The Thule Hullavator is good but an expensive solution for high rooflines. Now I load 75 plastic kayaks onto the roof of a full size van. I just do it carefully one end at a time. When folks come in looking for lifting solutions I try and get them to consider the Boatloader and adjust their technique in getting stuff up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Reynell View Post
    Aah ! Your workbench is beautiful. I have long hankered for an tail vice (and yours is particularly neat) but never got around to making one. Bench stops are so useful. A mate of mine currently finishing off one of Iain Oughtred's Acorn skiffs (before this had never built a boat) first made himself a decent workbench. Good move.

    Here's a photo of my trusty old Krenov hand plane. I'm sure that you could make one. If you do you'll never use a steel one again - wood on wood has a similar friction coefficient to ice on ice.

    Dave

    Krenov Plane.jpg
    I made a jointer plane out of Beech left over from the bench build. It actually makes gossamer curls! but I don't use hand tools and whole lot it's really pretty but I drilled the 1st hole in the wrong spot, I even carved the handles out of white oak and drilled through with a lag bolt. Dave I've been woodworking almost all my life only in recent years do I have the time to really perfect some of the things I always wanted to try. Wooden boats are my first love, woodturnings and Furniture building run a close 2nd and 3rd and it all keeps this old gal off the streets!

    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  28. #28
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    I love my CRV but the lift over is a bear. Everything’s taller. The forrester is just about as tall. It will be a consideration with the next car. My kudzu SOF is only 37 pounds but my wife’s plastic boat is near 50. Bought “universal” rack for the Accord for short trips. Just finished reading The Sea Bright Skiff. If I recall correctly the Ducker is mentioned. As long as we’re putting our personals on the street, I’m 70.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Boater14 View Post
    I love my CRV but the lift over is a bear. Everything’s taller. The forrester is just about as tall. It will be a consideration with the next car. My kudzu SOF is only 37 pounds but my wife’s plastic boat is near 50. Bought “universal” rack for the Accord for short trips. Just finished reading The Sea Bright Skiff. If I recall correctly the Ducker is mentioned. As long as we’re putting our personals on the street, I’m 70.
    There isn't much out there that is station wagon low any more. I think VW wagons are reasonably priced and there is Volvo less so, BMW and Mercedes. In Europe they still belive in wagons and haven't caught the SUV bug. All of the Subarus have gotten taller. And the shapes of the modern vehicles don't let you get a rack right at the after end. All a bonus for the roof rack makers.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    There isn't much out there that is station wagon low any more. I think VW wagons are reasonably priced and there is Volvo less so, BMW and Mercedes. In Europe they still belive in wagons and haven't caught the SUV bug. All of the Subarus have gotten taller. And the shapes of the modern vehicles don't let you get a rack right at the after end. All a bonus for the roof rack makers.
    My old Volvo (1996) is low enough but it still requires some grunt to lift a C16 to its roof height. But it is l-o-n-g and I can place the racks far apart. My Subaru XV is far too tall and the Foresters have gone SUV - such a pity !

  31. #31
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    Octavia Estate (wagon) big inside, same room as my wife’s Volvo XC90 and nice and low.

    We have lots of SUVs here in the UK but I imagine very few are used for anything close to their ability, rarely have a tow bar. Very fashionable on the school run

  32. #32
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    Default Re: A car-top rack for a Chesapeake 16

    I've switched to a Volvo wagon largely for these reasons. Used ones hold up and aren't over priced.
    -Dave

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